If you love barbecue and America as much as I do, then you might want to read this article!
There’s a new BBQ restaurant that just recently opened outside of Opry Mills Mall in Nashville, Tennessee. Mission BBQ is a family-friendly, homestyle restaurant with great BBQ and other American fare. But what’s best about the chain of restaurants, which first opened its doors on September 11, 2011, is that it strives to give back to the community of military and first-responders, not only through the food it serves, but through fund-raisers, service projects and other events.
When you first walk in the restaurant, you’re immediately taken by the patriotic atmosphere and decor;
you’re immediately aware that this place has a reverence and appreciation for the military and first-responders that goes far beyond any other food establishment.
When I visited, it was hard to decide on one thing from the menu… Everything looked and sounded delicious. I decided on their pork, which was BEYOND good – tender and not greasy, unlike the same dish at many other BBQ restaurants. As soon as you sit at your table, you’re greeted with six different BBQ sauces for your dipping pleasure, including, “Memphis Belle,” “Smoky Mountain,” “Texas Twang,” “KC Classic,” “Bay-B-Que,” and “Tupelo Honey Heat.”
If you truly can’t decide on one menu item, why not try them all? They have a “Meat Sampler”, which allows you to combine and try two or three out of the six meats they serve, including, “Brisket,” “Pulled Pork,” “Turkey,” “Pulled Chicken,” “Chicken,” and “Sausage.” Their sides include, “Maggie’s Mac N Cheese,” “Baked Beans with Brisket,” “Green Beans and Bacon,” “Cold Slaw,” “Fresh Cut Fries,” and seasonal items.
And for those of you with a sweet tooth (like me), they also serve seasonal desserts. This month, peach cobbler was their special dessert, they will have Strawberry shortcake in June, and I’m very much looking forward to July, when they will be introducing Banana Pudding! Brownies are a constant on the menu, as well as several other desserts.
On another visit, I tried the pulled chicken with fries and a sweet tea. First of all, the sweet tea is AMAZING… Not too sweet, as is the reputation for most southern restaurants, and the chicken is tender and tasty. The fries are seasoned perfectly with their own unique blend of seasonings.
I briefly got to chat with the “Director of Operations,” Mr. Lee Blackwell. After opening the first store on September 11, 2011, the restaurant chain has made substantial donations to military and first-responder charities and organizations. In May of 2015, Mission BBQ donated $415k to the Wounded Warrior Project, and this past March, they entered into a partnership with the USO. $2 from the sale of every American Heroes Cup purchased at the restaurant will be donated to the USO later this year.
Mission BBQ presently has 26 locations in 8 states, with 3 additional locations opening this month. By the end of this year, they expect to open 11 more locations.
Other locations they’ll be adding soon in Tennessee will include Murfreesboro, Franklin/Cool Springs, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Clarksville and also one in Huntsville, AL.
A very moving, and unique tradition at all locations is that at noon everyday, everything stops, everyone from the staff comes out, everyone stops eating, and the National Anthem is played in honor of the brave men and women who serve or have served the USA.
Besides the fund-raisers and special events held by the chain to support different organizations, proceeds from sales of memorabilia at the restaurants also go to different charities. For example, when you purchase one of their cups, portion of the proceeds goes to the USO.
Overall the restaurant is phenomenal. Great hospitality, great staff, great atmosphere, and most of all delicious food!
If you would like to check out Mission BBQ for yourself, you can go to their website: Mission-BBQ.com to see if they have a location near you and follow them on all their social media!
Do you love BBQ or do you want to share your experience at Mission BBQ? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!